Access servers via Remote Desktop

Access servers via Remote Desktop

Remote desktop software enables you to connect to a graphical Linux desktop running on SCF servers. You can start a desktop session, disconnect, then resume later on with all of your applications still running. You can connect to any of our Linux machines that are not part of the cluster.


You are now required to first login to the campus VPN before accessing a remote desktop from off-campus. Note that if you are already connected to the VPN and change your wifi network, you will need to disconnect and reconnect to the VPN.

Remote Desktop (RDP)

Client Software

  • macOS: Microsoft Remote Desktop
  • Linux: rdesktop (command-line), remmina, vinagre
  • Windows: Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (search applications for "remote")

Collaborators on project accounts that do not have access to the campus VPN and use the Remote Desktop Application to access the SCF can create an SSH tunnel.


Choose an SCF server, and specify your username in your RDP program. You may want to also change the defaults for sound output and whether you want the application to run in fullscreen.


X2go is a similar remote desktop application, but has an open development model. There are clients for both Mac and Windows.


Launch the application and create a new session. The following settings are where I overrode the default values:

  • Session
    • Session name: Your Favorite Machine
    • Host:
    • Login: YOUR SCF LOGIN
    • Enable "Try auto login (ssh-agent or default ssh key)" if you use ssh-agent to connect to the SCF without your password. If you do not enable this you will be prompted to enter your SCF password when connecting.
    • Session type: XFCE
  • Input/Output
    • Custom: 1024x768 (or whatever you desire)
    • Set display DPI: 100
  • Media
    • Disable "Enable sound support"
    • Disable "Client side printing support"